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All down to timing and luck at end of the day

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In reply to Will Alsop's discourse on life and the RIBA's drawings collection, life has a habit of relentlessly continuing and timing can be everything. Luck is as important as conscious decision making - we were lucky to have an offer from the V&A when we did. We held discussions with the RA when the Roundhouse bid failed, but no help was able to be offered at the time.

We have a physical collection that has to be exhibited, studied, housed and curated. It has an enormous value which cannot be measured in monetary terms. As trustees we have to ensure the collection's future and to make sure that the money already donated and spent is properly used.

So we jumped on the lucky horse as it ran by: it may fall at the last fence - as Will pointed out - but we'll keep its head up.

The RA's horse is still way behind over the horizon somewhere and it too may fall at the fences of its own development.

As to the future, we hope that the collection will be exhibited at the RA as one of many venues.

We are also conducting an ongoing study into how to collect, preserve and use material from the digital age without having to become a museum of computer hardware.

Will, we would love to have some more of your work in our collection. Give us a call and I will personally come round to your office to collect. Or you could send them to us by e-mail.

Tim Drewitt, RIBA hon. librarian or 'Keeper of the Books and Discs'

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